It’s not the typical time of year for graduation stories, but for nine students from West Side Leadership Academy in Gary, a sunny afternoon in August will do just fine. On Tuesday, August 27, West Side Leadership Academy held a summer graduation for the students who did not complete required coursework by June but put in the work over the summer to earn their diplomas.
William Roberts, a lifetime educator and Assistant Principal at West Side, delivered the keynote address. He encouraged the young men and women to continue their education and to work hard. Roberts also reminded them of the foundation that the Gary Community School Corporation laid for their next level of success.
“Your parents, your teachers, all of us here, know you are going to go on to do great things,” said Roberts.
Administrators, teachers and families filled the Little Theater at West Side smiling, cheering and taking photos of the momentous occasion. Emergency Manager, Dr. Pete Morikis spoke with the students and families before the ceremony.
“It’s an honor to serve these students. That’s what we’re here to do,” said Morikis. “Giving them the opportunity to put on a cap and gown and walk across the stage is as rewarding to us as it is for them. They deserve to be recognized for their accomplishments.”
The summer graduates of West Side Leadership Academy are Adele Benford, Leroy Branch, Mikhal Franklin, Michael Green, Q’Tylor Sims, Daynesha Smith, Kiara Smith, Kevin Thomas and David Yarber.